Are you an Australian business looking to expand your reach beyond local borders? If so, the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program could be the perfect opportunity for you. With applications for Round 3 of the EMDG program fast approaching, now is the time to find out if your business is eligible and start planning your application.

What is the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Program?

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is a Federal program administered by Austrade designed to support Australian businesses that are looking to expand their overseas markets. It encourages this by reimbursing up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses, with a minimum threshold of $15,000.

The grants are open to a diverse range of industries including goods, services, events and intellectual property. However, the program is highly competitive and the grant amount is limited so businesses need to act quickly to increase their chances of success.

How do I know if my business is eligible for the EMDG?

EMDG is an eligibility-based, demand-driven program. This means all eligible applicants receive a grant amount based on the available funds.

Austrade do not base grants on the maximum grant tier caps but rather based on the:

  • Number of eligible applications in the round (referred to as demand), and
  • Available program budget shared among all eligible applicants.

More information on tiers and the value of grants offered in the last two rounds can be found here.

To be eligible your business must:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Have an annual turnover of less than $20M in the financial year ending June 2022.
  • Have received less than eight EMDG grants in the past.
  • Be currently exporting, or intending to export in the next 12 months.

What expenses are eligible under the EMDG?

Grants are available for eligible promotional activities conducted by small to medium-sized exporters and representative bodies. SME exporters are eligible for grants for up to 8 years, not necessarily consecutively, while representative bodies have no limit on grant years.

The grant program is divided into three tiers (it’s important to note that businesses can apply for any grant tier at any time):

  1. Ready to export
  2. Exporting and expanding
  3. Exporting, expanding and strategic shift.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Patents and Trademarks
  • Marketing consultants
  • Travel
  • Online promotion including adwords/Meta/Facebook/Instagram etc
  • Tradeshows
  • Overseas representation
  • Free samples

When can I apply for the EMDG?

Austrade has announced that the next round of EMDG will open on the 15th of March and close on the 14th of April 2023. This is just a one-month period only so you will need to act quickly to participate.

Changes in Round 3 include the following:

  • Grant Agreements will be for one year with a possibility of extension subject to the availability of funds.
  • The definition of strategic shift for Tier 3 grantees has been updated and focuses on market diversification.
  • Austrade requires businesses to meet their tax obligations and follow all relevant ATO legislation, rulings and guidelines. During the assessment process, businesses made be asked to provide evidence that they have satisfied their tax obligations. You can view more on the changes and guidelines here.

Need help with your EMDG claim?

Our experts can help guide you through the entire process of exploring the EMDG program and other grant opportunities available to your business. With our assistance, you can avoid the confusion and complexity of eligibility requirements, applications and compliance issues, and instead focus on growing your business. Get in touch with our team in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide today.